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Devastating Hurricane Dorian may have caused an oil spill

Devastating Hurricane Dorian may have caused an oil spill as the Category 5 storm lashed the Bahamas with winds as fast as 185mph, alarming footage reveals

  • Hurricane Dorian killed at least 30 people after it struck the Bahamas on Sunday 
  • Tanks holding 294m litres of oil at Equinor South Riding Point facility damaged
  • Fears of contaminated drinking water and the possibility of fire are on the rise 

A leak at an oil facility caused by hurricane Dorian has seeped into the ocean and could end in a ‘socioeconomic tragedy’.

Hurricane Dorian killed at least 30 people after it struck the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm with winds as fast as 185mph. 

The oil tanks at the Equinor South Riding Point oil facility in High Rock were severely damaged, causing a large spill. 

Tanks which held 294million litres of oil at the Equinor South Riding Point oil facility in High Rock were severely damaged, causing a large spill

The land surrounding the facility, which sits directly on the shoreline, has been drenched in oil and the white tanks have been stained black

Some of the tanks’ domes have even been torn off by the Category 5 hurricane

Equinor confirmed that on the day of the hurricane there were 294million litres of oil on site.

While the company hasn’t confirmed whether any of the spillage has seeped into the sea, aerial footage of the ocean suggests it has. 

The land surrounding the facility, which sits directly on the shoreline, has been drenched in oil and the white tanks have been stained black.

Some of the tanks’ domes have even been torn off by the hurricane. 

Pictured is the Equinor South Riding Point oil facility before hurricane Dorian struck

While the company hasn’t confirmed whether any of the spillage has seeped into the sea, aerial footage of the ocean suggests it has

Equinor released a statement saying they would be sending a cleanup team over as soon as possible amid concerns of the possibility of a fire as temperatures in the area increase

Sam Teicher, founder of coral growing operation Coral Vita, told Gizmodo: ‘I didn’t smell the oil until we got closer to the slick on the highway, but once you were there, it was pretty apparent, which is saying something considering that earlier and later in the day, you could definitely smell death from the hurricane.

‘So to be distracted from the smell of death by the smell of oil was quite a transition.’

Equinor released a statement saying they would be sending a cleanup team over as soon as possible amid concerns of the possibility of a fire as temperatures in the area increase. 

Grand Bahama’s water supply is limited and the country mainly relies on its aquifers  (underground layers of water-bearing rock).

If the spilt oil sinks far enough into the ground, drinking water will become contaminated with toxic petroleum, 

Half of the homes in the Bahamas were destroyed or severely damaged, racking up a total of $7billion in insured and uninsured property losses, according to a Thursday estimate from the catastrophe modelers Karen Clark & Co

The corpse of a man buried under debris today after Hurricane Dorian hit the Abaco Islands in Marsh Harbour, the Bahamas 

The country relies heavily on its marine life for both food and economy and an oil spill in the sea could spell trouble if coral and fish are poisoned. 

Teicher added: ‘This is not just an ecological tragedy, but, it’s a socioeconomic tragedy as well.’

The storm struck the island chain as a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane on Sunday and stalled over Abaco and Grand Bahama for the following two days as 185mph winds and torrential rains ravaged countless communities. 

Up to 70,000 people in the Bahamas are in need of ‘life-saving assistance’ while Great Abaco is said to be virtually uninhabitable, with bodies piled up and witnesses say there is a ‘smell of death’ with corpses floating in the water. 

A woman comforts a man who cries after discovering his shattered house and not knowing anything about his eight relatives who lived there, missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian, in High Rock, Grand Bahama, on Thursday

The Bahamas are facing a humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricane Dorian as at least 70,000 people are in need of ‘life-saving assistance’ and the death toll, which reached 30 on Thursday, is expected to climb. Aliana Alexis, of Haiti, stands in the wreckage of her home in a shantytown called The Mudd at Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island on Thursday

People wait outside hospital in Marsh Harbour, Great Abaco, Bahamas. At least 30 people died in the hurricane and the number could be ‘significantly higher,’ Bahamian health minister Duane Sands told The Associated Press in a telephone interview late Thursday. The victims are from Abaco and Grand Bahama islands and include some who died from injuries after being flown to New Providence island, he said

Dorian struck the island chain as a catastrophic Category 5 storm on Sunday and stalled over Abaco and Grand Bahama for the following two days as 185mph winds and torrential rains ravaged countless communities

While the official death toll stands at 30, that number is expected to rise and hundreds of body bags have been ordered along with extra freezers.

A massive international relief effort was ramped up today as survivors revealed horrifying details of the ‘apocalyptic’ aftermath.

The British Government has pledged £1.5 million to help deliver aid, saying it is estimated that several hundred British nationals live in the worst affected areas of the Bahamas.

The Foreign Office said it is working to establish how badly they have been affected and deploying staff and members of the British Red Cross for ’emotional and practical support’.

A Royal Navy helicopter rescued three children, and a British person who was trapped beneath rubble for several days after the hurricane.  

Catastrophic flooding in community of Marsh Harbour on Great Abaco Island is seen from above on Thursday

A massive international relief effort kicked off on Thursday as the extent of the damage wrought by Dorian comes into focus through satellite images, like the one above from Great Abaco

Hurricane Dorian’s eye, timelapse captured by ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano during his mission to the International Space Station

Hurricane Dorian’s eye, timelapse captured by ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano during his mission to the International Space Station

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